On a test site, we found that prior to its redesign, 65% of the customers who reached our shopping cart abandoned it.
We managed to reduce the abandonment rate by redesigning the cart over a testing period of 5 months.
But still, as many as 50% of our customers were not completing the checkout process. Rather than let them go altogether, we attempted to reach out to them one final time.
And as a result, we managed to lure back 4.5% of runaway customers to complete their purchase. It was a novel idea at its time and it continues to work!
Here's what we do...
First, we ask customers to provide only their first name, email address, and shipping country on Step 1 of our two-step checkout process. We ask for country because we want to show the total price, including the cost of shipping, upfront. When the customer selects a country, the shipping price gets automatically updated underneath the product cost.
The customer can then click on their preferred payment method to complete the checkout process. In this next step they are asked to provide the rest of their details including their shipping address and billing information.
We are careful not to ask for too much personal information and get only what is absolutely necessary.
Between these two steps, something interesting is happening in the background. We keep track of the customer's first name and email address submitted during Step 1. If they arrive at Step 2 and then abandon the cart, we still have their email address and first name captured.
If the purchase is not completed within 3 hours, the customer is sent a personalized email by our autoresponder reminding them of their incomplete purchase.
The email politely asks if we could help them complete their order, as well as clarifies some common misconceptions about the product and fears about ordering online. We also provide a link back to the shopping cart for them to complete their order. Thanks to this simple email, our sales jumped by 4.5%.
Sending this email makes customers feel reassured and more confident about their purchase, and it helps our bottom line without any additional expenditures. With this email we attempt to answer the customer's questions in a friendly, personalized manner.
We picked 6 questions to answer. In our case, we identified these 6 questions simply by speaking to our customer support reps and noting the most commonly asked questions they had been receiving from customers.
This is a path we strongly recommend. Speak to your customer support reps and identify the most commonly asked questions and problems associated with your site's ordering process. Then aim to address them in your email message.
Another strategy to use in your "What Went Wrong?" email is to offer the customer a coupon. For example, they could get 10% off if they complete their order. It is well worth testing such promotions with your customer base. A good tool that enables you to respond to uncompleted purchases is an autoresponder system.
Remember, just because people abandon your shopping cart does not mean that you have lost the sale. With a little bit of extra effort, you can lure them back to complete their purchase and substantially increase your profits.
Bjorn Brands is a successful enterprenuer who transitioned from having his own building company to a great online business. Check out his site and see for yourself how his FREE course can help you do the same at http://www.moneyacces.com